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2012: The Year in Food and Wine Crime

Like each year before it, 2012 saw its own fair share of fast food robberies and bizarre criminal acts from chainsaw-wielding drunks to people escaping bar tabs by cutting through plastic patio walls. But as in years past, there were a few criminal acts that stood out above the rest: the new trends of samurai sword robberies and Molotov cocktailing, Long Island's hot dog hooker, epic wine vandalism and the people of Orlando, Florida may never forget the couple busted for having sex on a restaurant table. Here now, the year in food and wine crime.


Diners Stealing 30,000 Napkins from Jamie Oliver a Month

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[Jamie Oliver]

Culinary Savior Jamie Oliver told British TV news source Radio Times that his chain of Jamie's Italian restaurants — which has expanded to about 30 locations worldwide — loses 30,000 napkins per month to klepto diners. These trademark white and blue checkered napkins — that say "Jamie's Italian" on them — can be purchased in packs of four for eight Euros in the restaurants, but they get stolen anyway.


Brunello Vandalism

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[Photo: Montalcino News]

Most recently, the wine world was rocked with a devastating case of vandalism at the estate of cult Brunello di Montalcino producer Gianfranco Soldera. The vandal in question opened the taps on Soldera's barrels, destroying more than 60,000 liters of wine spanning six vintages. Though early reports speculated the mafia or perhaps a rival producer was behind the vandalism, Italian police arrested former employee Andrea Di Gisi, alleging the destruction was an act of revenge over a living quarter dispute.


Florida Couple Has Sex at a Restaurant

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[Screenshot: WKMG]

A couple scandalized their Orlando, Florida, community earlier this year when they just started having sex on a table at the restaurant Paddy Murphy's. Even though a manager asked them to stop, the couple kept at it and so the manager called the cops. Police arrested Jeremie Calo, but it wasn't for having sex in public and in front of kids. He was arrested for refusing to pay his $101 bill.


British Ice Cream Truck Wars

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[Screenshot: YouTube]

The British ice cream truck wars got ruthless this year when two drivers got into a turf war that resulted in swearing, a broken window and a fender bender. It was all caught on film, naturally, and in the end Zeheer "Mr. Yummy" Ramzan was found guilty of assault, possession of an offensive weapon and criminal damage for his battle with Mohammed "Mr. Whippy" Mulla.


Molotov Cocktails Hit Montreal Bars

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[Screenshot: CBC News]

Montreal bars saw a crime spree this year that involved criminals throwing Molotov cocktails into bars and restaurants — this happened three times in a 24-hour period. Among the bars hit were Bar Primetime, Café Ciociaro and Chops Resto Bar, the latter which sustained serious water damage when its sprinkler system kicked in. Possibly unrelated (or not?) a man was accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail into a mall food court just outside of Washington, DC.


Man Denied All-You-Can-Eat Fish Arrested For Picketing

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[Screenshot: TMJ4]

A Wisconsin man was arrested this year for disorderly conduct while picketing outside of his local fish fry Chuck's Place. Bill Wisth was just enjoying their all-you-can-eat fish special when the restaurant cut him off after 12 pieces of fish. When he protested and refused to pay, they offered him another eight pieces, but he still called the police on the restaurant and picketed against its "poor business practices."


Hot Dog Hooker's Wiener Service

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[Screenshot: CBS New York]

Long Island hot dog cart owner Catherine Scalia was arrested this year for using her cart as a front for prostitution. This so-called "wiener hooker" apparently would hand out cards advertising her stripping services and offered an undercover cop a hand job when he took her up on the stripping offer. Also, she sometimes sold hot dogs "in her bra and panties," according to a neighbor. She was sentenced to seven days in prison, but was released immediately with plans to get back to selling hot dogs.


Florida Health Inspector Bribes

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[Screenshot: ActionNewsJax]

Police arrested two restaurant health inspectors in Jacksonville, Florida, who faced felony charges for allegedly taking bribes from at least 17 local restaurants in exchange for ignoring "critical violations." Police weren't saying which restaurants offered the bribes, and they hadn't been reinspected so it was a dangerous time to go out to eat in Jacksonville for awhile there.


Samurai Crime

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[Screenshot: 8 News Now]

Apparently the new big thing in restaurant crime is using samurai swords to rob fast food restaurants. First, a masked man attempted to rob a Las Vegas Dairy Queen with a samurai sword, but was shot and killed by an employee. Then, in a less deadly attack, a man wielding a samurai sword robbed a Church's Chicken location in Kansas City. It's a trend?


Rich Guy Breaks Server's Finger

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Club-Colette, Palm Beach, Florida. [Photo: Bunky Cushing]

This year started off on a great note with reports of a rich finance guy breaking his server's finger because he was upset with the service at Club-Colette in Palm Beach, Florida. Per a police report, John Castle became upset when his server Paul Kucik brought the bill to the table at Castle's wife's request, yelling, "You schmuck, why did you bring the bill to the table?" Then, Castle allegedly "grabbed Kucik's left hand and began squeezing and twisting his fingers" — resulting in one broken finger.


Honorable Mentions

· Canadian Police Arrest 3 In $20M Maple Syrup Heist
· Diners Stealing 30k Napkins From Jamie Oliver a Month
· CA Man Dupes Clients Out of 3M in Wine Two Buck Chuck Scheme
· Sacramento Restaurant Raided, Caught With 80lbs of Weed
· Gunman Barricades Himself Inside Georgia Restaurant
· Restaurant POS Systems a Major Target For Hackers
· Man Tries to Escape Bar Tab By Cutting Through Plastic Patio Wall
· Watch a Crazy Chainsaw-Wielding Drunk Attack a Pub


Fast Food Crime

· Thief Steals Chinese Delivery Car, Keeps Delivering Food
· Robbers Lock Arizona McDonald's Employees in a Freezer
· Man Rams His Car Into a Taco Bell Over a Wrong Order
· Authorities on the Lookout For Pizza Costume Thief


· All Year in Eater Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Crime Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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